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Croatia takes 2-1 Davis Cup lead on Japan

Croatia takes 2-1 Davis Cup lead on Japan
Ivan Dodig, shown playing in 2011, teamed with Ivo Karlovic for a doubles victory Saturday that gave Croatia a 2-1 lead in its best-of-five Davis Cup series against Japan. UPI/David Silpa | License Photo

HYOGU, Japan, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- Ivan Dodig and Ivo Karlovic teamed for a doubles win Saturday that put Croatia up 2-1 over Japan in a best-of-five Davis Cup first-round series.

The Croatians lost their serve just once in a 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 victory over Japan's Tatsuma Ito and Yuichi Sugita. Dodig and Karlovic won 73 percent of the points on serve and combined for 24 aces.

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They faced just three break points -- all in the second set -- outside of the third set.

The result puts Croatia one win from the Davis Cup quarterfinals. A win in Sunday's singles by either Dodig or Karlovic will lock up the series.

Dodig opens Sunday's play against Kei Nishikori while Karlovic meets Go Soeda in a match between Friday's two winners.

The survivor of the Croatia-Japan series advances to the April 6-8 quarterfinals against either Argentina or Germany. Argentina, the 2011 Davis Cup runner-up, leads Germany 2-0 in that series.

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